How the Adventure system works

Adventure Presents is an anthology series of stand-alone RPGs from some of the most exciting designers and artists in the industry. Each issue of the magazine offers a complete story, and contains everything you need to get playing in a matter of minutes – pull-out character sheets, maps, a Game Master’s reference booklet, and more.

So how does the game work? Well, the rules can be freely downloaded here, but below you can find a brief summary.

The GM and the Player Characters

The game sees one player take on the role of the Games Master (GM), while the remaining players will each choose from the pre-made characters within the issue to see who they will be assuming the role of.

Each character has their own sheet within the issue (or available to download online) with all the information you need to jump right into the game. These are broken down in more detail on Page 2 of the rules sheet, but here’s the TL:DR version:

Abilities – an indication of what you are capable of, broken into four categories; Toughness, Agility, Smarts, and Wits. Depending on the task at hand, the GM will tell players what Ability is being tested.
Health – how much damage you can take before they fall unconscious.
Resolve – the characters willpower, which can be spent to improve their Abilities and replenished by following their Drives.
Drives – three unique goals, needs or habits that drive your decisions and restore your Resolve.
Gear – what you have at the start of the story, with slots available for new Gear you find as you play through the game.


When it comes to taking Actions, the GM will decide which Ability is required and the player will roll three six-sided dice. Each Ability has a number from 1 to 4 which affect the roll:

1: Remove the die with the highest value.
2: Remove the die with the middle value.
3: Remove the die with the lowest value.
4: Remove none, keep all three dice.

The values of the remaining dice are added together, and if they equal or exceed the target difficulty of the Action they are successful.

For the GM, the actions within the Adventure Booklet have all been given a target difficulty that you can use, with additional guidance in the rules for when you need to set your own difficulty. There’s also advice on how you can adjust difficulty of tests depending on the actions of the characters within the rules.

As a player there are ways you can increase your chance of succeeding when taking an action. If your friends are nearby, they can add their support to your roll in situations where it makes sense, increasing your Ability level but risking any negative consequences if the roll fails.

You can also call on your Resolve, pushing yourself harder when something is important to you. Before making the roll, players can spend Resolve to increase their Ability level for that test. Very handy in times of need!


Conflict takes many forms, from winning a fistfight to outwitting a rival. These are decided with contested rolls, with each character involved rolling to take an Action and whoever gets the highest result succeeding.

If it is an attack in which characters are trying to harm one another then you subtract the lower result from the higher result, with the character who rolled the lower result losing that much Health.

Art by Pye Parr

You’ll want to be wary, as if your Health or Resolve is reduced to zero you’ll find yourself in Serious Danger, losing 1 Health or Resolve (whichever is remaining) on each of their turns until another characters stabilizes them. If both your Health and Resolve reach zero, your character dies and you’ll start the next Chapter with a new character.

Think you’ve got what it takes to survive in the depths of space? You can freely download the Adventure rulesheet here, and Tartarus Gate is currently available at 25% off Print and PDF. Order your copy today!